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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Quilting fun (and a quick safety pin basting tip!)

Good morning everyone,

Hope your week is wonderful so far!
Mine always starts with Monday spent with my sweet little granddaughter and it just can't be anything but amazing  then! :) I love her so, so much...
Weekend was one of the bests too - I spent whole morning Saturday quilting in my PJs - YAY! Remember that paper-piecing start I called "distraction" in previous post? Of course it isn't distraction really, just a small project that had to be done and boy did I have fun quilting it!
Here is finished top: (12" block)
Pattern? I drew this in my beloved EQ7 for my students in paper-piecing class and just recently someone asked me what is the name of it? HMMM...didn't give it a name! Asked for some suggestions from my FB friends and decided on Allentown Compass (thanks Sandy!) in honor of one of Buffalo's up-and-coming, downtown revival neighborhoods where I also teach now, at Elmwood Village Fabrics
And the I set it in-point to make it into a bigger square for a nice pillow. I really love this Cotton +Steel print that I used:

 It is a directional, sort of border print and I had to play a bit with options (it has some gorgeous flowers too) - these were my dilemmas:
With flowers...

With some flowers... 

Or no flowers as I choose at the end.
Truth is, I am making another one where I will use those flowers, so all is good! he he...
So once top was done, I went to do a quick safety pin basting and that brings me to today's tip - do you know about using the SPOON to make closing those pins a breeze?

Here is how I do it:
1. I place my safety pins in but I DON'T close them as I go

2. Once I have them all in (or one larger part if it's a big quilt), I use the spoon to close them. First hold your pin so it is upright, like this:
(I hold it with my thumb and middle finger and place my pointer finger on top)

3. Then take the spoon to "prop-up" that sharp tip:

So when I say "prop-up" I mean that spoon is turned away from the tip, like the photo above and NOT toward the tip like this photo below:
wrong spoon position!
 4. Once tip is propped up, you use your hand holding the pin to just "hook" it on.



Here is a short video of this, it might be more clear? 


Using this way, it really takes no time to close all those safety pins! (and no pricked fingers either!!)
 
Time to quilt -hooray!! 

As always, I go to my 50wt Aurifil palette to find BOTH inspiration and just the right color - here is what I pulled out!

Tough choice, right? 
What would you pick??

I decided to use them ALL! First some coral in the middle...

Then some dark navy SID  and echo quilting (boy does that take patience and discipline - not my strong side!)

Oh and then I got really brave and did some high contrast lines extending the star points! Me?? Who knew?? (Must have been all that coffee and spice chai latte I was sipping along!!)

I actually love it. Yay for brave me!

After that I needed some calm and comfort, so used this darker teal color that blends so perfectly with fabric, you almost can't even see it:

OK!
Since I was so good and disciplined with all my straight line quilting - it was time to have some FMQ fun! Out with that FMQ foot, down with the feed dogs (who gave this name, really??) and time for some pebbles with this whispering variegated Aurifil beauty: 


Except... 
I am so not that good with pebbles (yet! not giving up!), and even this small contrast in colors made me cringe... Yeah, I was chicken and switched back to just cream... Maybe the wrong choice, maybe I should just be brave and bold? Maybe next time? :) 
Here are well blended pebbles...

Comparison? 

What do you think?? 

Well, I will practice, practice and practice and get better and maybe some day I will do high contrast color pebbles just because!! Ha ha!!
To finish, I picked this beautiful, breezy, beauty of light teal #Aurifil for the corners...

Isn't this just such beautiful color ?? 

At this point I just went to play...


Ooh and did you notice that coral color thread now? Yeah, I was having so much fun and went for some last touch of bright color with coral and one of the decorative stitches on my machine - perfect little circles!! (Take that my imperfect pebbles!)

So here we are, all done!

Oh the #AuriLOVE... :)


Here it is with overlapped back layer (to function as pillow cover) and binding:




I now do all my quilted pillow covers with binding - I saw it first on Maureen Cracknell's blog and fell in love with it! If you haven't so far, visit and bookmark Maureen's blog - she is super-talented and so very inspirational quilter, fabric designer and photographer! 

Now my friends, I am going back to those 90-something paper pieced stars and my already late quilt finish for January. Determined to catch up though! ;)

Have a terrific Thursday,
Love, 
Marija

3 comments:

  1. Marija, to make it even easier, use a grapefruit spoon. The notches hold the pin securely to secure. Check out my post, http://artinsearch.blogspot.com/search/label/pin%20basting Sure beats using the fingers! Great paper piecing.

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  2. That's a lot of thread changes! But I like to match colors too--just don't usually have that many. Looks good. I think your prbbles are very respectable looking.

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  3. Hi Marija! I took two of your classes last year with Sandy at Elmwood Village Fabrics. I made this same pillow and star pattern with you. Right now, I'm making a t-shirt quilt for one of my nephews, and using a lot of the tips and tricks you gave us. When I was looking through the notes, I saw my hand written note that you had a blog. I tracked it down, and here I am. I hope to take another class at Sandy's soon ! Marie Nowak

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